Tag Archives: #Google #GoogleCanada #Innovation

Google Translate’s update helps Canadians connect and communicate in different languages

Google Translate allows you to explore unfamiliar lands, communicate in different languages, and make
connections that would be otherwise impossible. One of my favourite features on the
Google Translate mobile app is instant camera translation, which allows you to see the world in your language by
just pointing your camera lens at the foreign text. Similar to the real-time translation feature we recently launched in
Google Lens, this is an intuitive way to understand your surroundings, and it’s especially helpful when you’re
traveling abroad as it works even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or using cellular data. Today, we’re launching
new upgrades to this feature, so that it’s even more useful.
Translate from 88 languages into 100+ languages


The instant camera translation adds support for 60 more languages, such as Arabic, Hindi, Malay, Thai and
Vietnamese. Here’s a full list of all 88 supported languages. What’s more exciting is that, previously you could only
translate between English and other languages, but now you can translate into any of the 100+ languages
supported on Google Translate. This means you can now translate from Arabic to French, or from Japanese to
Chinese, etc. 


Automatically detect the language


When traveling abroad, especially in a region with multiple languages, it can be challenging for people to determine
the language of the text that they need to translate. We took care of that—in the new version of the app, you can
just select “Detect language” as the source language, and the Translate app will automatically detect the language
and translate. Say you’re traveling through South America, where both Portuguese and Spanish are spoken, and
you encounter a sign. Translate app can now determine what language the sign is in, and then translate it for you
into your language of choice.


Better translations powered by Neural Machine Translation


For the first time, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology is built into instant camera translations. This
produces more accurate and natural translations, reducing errors by 55-85 percent in certain language pairs. And
most of the languages can be downloaded onto your device, so that you can use the feature without an internet
connection. However, when your device is connected to the internet, the feature uses that connection to produce
higher quality translations.


A new look


Last but not least, the feature has a new look and is more intuitive to use. In the past, you might have noticed the
translated text would flicker when viewed on your phone, making it difficult to read. We’ve reduced that flickering,
making the text more stable and easier to understand. The new look has all three camera translation features
conveniently located on the bottom of the app: “Instant” translates foreign text when you point your camera at it.
"Scan" lets you take a photo and use your finger to highlight text you want translated. And “Import” lets you translate
text from photos on your camera roll. 

To try out the the instant camera translation feature, download the Google Translate app.

Xinxing Gu, Product Manager, Google Translate

Take your own journey: Experience one of Parks Canada’s breathtaking destinations with new Google Street View imagery


Authored by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Every year, on April 22, people around the world celebrate Earth Day in support of the environment. What better time to launch new Google Street View imagery, featuring some of Parks Canada’s most awe-inspiring places. As a result of the long-term collaboration between two iconic organizations - Google and Parks Canada, virtual visitors can explore mountain-top vistas, meandering ocean-side trails, and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Our national parks represent the best that Canada has to offer and are gateways to nature. This new Google Street View imagery introduces you to some of the incredible wonders of Canada’s vast network of protected wilderness and encourages you to discover more. It may even inspire you to visit. I can promise you incredible memories that will last a lifetime if you do.

The new Google Street View imagery is also a reminder that we have a collective responsibility to protect the natural world. As we continue to see the impacts of climate change on our land and water, the need to protect them only increases. Allowing more people to see these treasured places will help build appreciation for them and future stewards to help protect them.

This latest Google Street View release includes stunning images of Nahanni National Park Reserve (Nahʔą Dehé, Northwest Territories). The park touches the Boreal Cordillera Ecozone, is globally renowned for its geological landforms, and its natural heritage is internationally recognized by UNESCO. Virtual visitors anywhere can experience Virginia Falls, also known by the Dene name, Náįlįcho. They can also explore the amazing Rabbitkettle (Gahnîhthah) mineral springs and tufa mound, and rock climbing mecca, the Cirque of the Unclimbables.

Enjoy the rugged backcountry, mountain climbs, and a hot spring of one of our newest (and least-visited) national parks - Nááts'ı̨hch'oh National Park Reserve (Northwest Territories) that have been captured on Google Street View. The park is named after Nááts'ı̨hch'oh the mountain, which is a powerful place for the people of Sahtu, and is located in the traditional lands of Shúhtaot'ine (Mountain Dene). The imagery captured of the park will include highlights of Hamlet of Tulita, a fly-in access only community that is the main base of operations for Nááts'ı̨hch'oh.

Wonders from Banff National Park (Alberta), Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (British Columbia), Terra Nova National Park (Newfoundland), and Glacier and Mount Revelstoke national parks (British Columbia) have also been published as part of this release for you to explore and experience virtually.

Parks Canada preserves the sensitive ecosystems of our national parks, while providing Canadians with unparalleled opportunities to connect with nature. And Parks Canada works with Indigenous peoples to protect these treasured places and shares their stories with the world. I hope that experiencing this new Google Street View imagery will provide a better appreciation and understanding of the importance of our national parks. I encourage you to take the journey with Parks Canada and Google to learn about Canada’s natural, cultural and Indigenous heritage, and start dreaming about your next trip.

 Happy (early) Earth Day!

Celebrating 10 years of Street View in Canada and around the world!

Street View started out as Larry Page’s far-fetched idea to create a 360-degree map of the world. Today, 10 years after the first imagery was published in Street View, Canadians can scale mountains, take a tour of the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge, scout out the best Street Art in Montreal, and walk through Canadian museums. Over the last decade, a lot has changed—the technology we use, the appearance of the planet—but the goal of Google Maps has remained the same: to help you navigate and discover new corners of the world. Now raise your glass (or smartphone), and cheers to Street View’s 10th birthday!

[Whistler Mountain in British Columbia]

Let’s hop inside our time machine and see where it all began. Larry kicked off the first prototype in 2004 with a team of Googlers who were passionate about his idea to create a 360-degree view of the world. They tossed cameras on a van, added some lasers (okay maybe it was a bit more complicated than that), and the first Street View car was born. In 2006, Street View officially hit the roads in a few cities across the U.S. and the first imagery was published in May 2007. In Canada, Street View cars came up to Montreal through Vermont in September 2007 with the first image being of Highway 55. Ten years later, we’ve published imagery on every continent, in 83 countries, and traveled about 10 million miles with the Street View car. Talk about a roadtrip.

[First image of Highway 55 - Vermont border crossing on the way to Montreal - the first image in Street View in Canada]

While our cars explored streets around the world, we were still missing out on some of the most beautiful places on Earth: the world that exists beyond the roads. So we developed custom rigs, like the Street View Trekker, to go where cars couldn’t go. The Trekker is designed to be worn and walked through narrow alleyways or trails, gathering images as it goes. It’s traveled to breathtaking natural wonders and world heritage sites—Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, the Galapagos Islands and even the historic pedestrian paths in Venice. And it's been used by conservation organizations to observe wildlife, like elephants, chimps, polar bears, and frogs in the Amazon, in their natural habitat. Over the years we've put Street View cameras on a snowmobile to bring you closer to the Arctic Eiders, the back of a camel to roam the Arabian desert, and a trolley to give you a better view of renowned works of art.

[Street View cameras on a snowmobile to bring you closer to the Arctic Eiders]

To build our map of the world faster, in 2013 we enlisted the help of partners through the Trekker Loan Program. We gave volunteers Street View cameras, which they used to collect 360-degree imagery of the local places they know best. Then the Street View App came along in 2015, so that anyone could publish photo spheres (360-degree panoramas) of their favorite places from around the world—or around the block—to Google Maps in an instant. We expanded on this last month, when we announced more than 20 new Street View-compatible 360 cameras, to help you document your adventures with high quality imagery. Now anyone—from tourism organizations to local neighborhood enthusiast—can contribute panoramic imagery to Street View.

The world is better explored than explained. Street View gives you a taste of the places you’ll see in person one day, helps you remember the places you've been, and enables you to explore the places you might never get to. So pick up your phone and take a peek. Many wonders await.

Authored By: Arjun Raman, Technical Program Management Director, Street View